Bert “girafganger7” Stevens is no stranger to online tournament success. After all, he once commanded the top spot in the PocketFives online poker rankings. He has won loads of big tournaments, including the GGPoker Super MILLION$ Main Event and two EPT Online events (he was the first player to accomplish the latter). But this week’s feat was another thing entirely, as he won the 2023 WSOP Online Main Event for $2,783,433.
Not only was that one heck of a victory for Stevens, but it also put him in the record books. With a prize pool of $28,609,250 generated from 6,023 entries, the WSOP Online Main Event had the largest prize pool in online poker history.
It grabbed the throne from the 2020 WSOP Online Main Event, which awarded $27,559,500 in prize money. That tournament has its own place in poker history, as it was created out of necessity when the live World Series of Poker had to be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stoyan Madanzhiev won the event, ecstatic that he was poker’s world champion. But controversy ensued, as the WSOP later decided, once COVID restrictions were eased slightly, to implement a hybrid online/live Main Event, which it called the “official” Main Event of 2020, replacing what everyone thought was that year’s online version.
If you’ve watched any of Stevens’ poker streams, you will know he is a…character. He wears his emotions on his sleeve, though sometimes it’s hard to tell how much he’s hamming it up for camera and how much of it is real (I’d wager on it being almost all real).
Take, for instance, Stevens’ computer desk and streaming space. Last month, he treated his online followers to a look behind the scenes:
Many wondered if the mess was all a setup or if that really what surrounds him when he plays. As someone in the comments said, though, “If you can thrive in a space so chaotic that others question its sanity, no obstacle is too great.”
Back to the WSOP Online Main Event, Stevens went into the final table with the chip lead. Erik Bakker overtook him at one point, but a failed bluff by Bakker allowed Stevens to get back in front. From there, he slowly chipped up until he had about twice as many chips as the rest of the players combined when they were down to five-handed play.
He had a massive 4-to-1 chip lead over Yagen Li when it got heads-up and it only took a few minutes for Stevens to take it down. He raised to 10.5 million pre-flop with Sixes and Li re-raised to 30 million with A-Q. Stevens shoved for 117 million and Li called. The board came out K-3-K-4-5 and Stevens celebrated:
Li won a nice consolation prize of $2,059,058, but it was Stevens who added yet another victory to his impressive online poker resume.
2023 WSOP Online Main Event – Final Table Results
- Bert Stevens – $2,783,432
- Yagen Li – $2,059,058
- Ezequiel Kleinman – $1,524,214
- Ramiro Petrone – $1,128,331
- Alexander Timoshenko – $835,303
- Eric Bakker – $618,406
- Lukas Hafner – $457,864
- Fabian Rolli – $339,032
- Simon Wilson – $251,073